Dubai: The Emirates Literature Foundation (ELF) recently unveiled the initial beneficiaries of 1st Chapter, the ELF Seddiqi Writers’ Fellowship during a special ceremony at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
The ten winners were chosen from 120 applicants writing in Arabic and English by their prospective mentors which include authors who are internationally acclaimed.
Launched by ELF in partnership with Seddiqi Holding, the ELF Seddiqi Writers’ Fellowship is the first global standard mentorship program in the region for aspiring writers. The initiative strives to identify and nurture emerging writing talent from the UAE, enabling the successful participants to hone their skills through one-to-one sessions with the authors.
The Initial Winners of the 1st Chapter, the ELF Seddiqi Writers’ Fellowship are;
- Moxie Anderson chosen by Mark Billingham
- Sara Hamdan chosen by Yrsa Siggurdottir
- Yi-Hwa Hanna chosen by Patrick Gale
- Mustafa Alrawi chosen by Ali Sparkes
- Zana Bonafe chosen by Shobhaa De
- Reem Hameed chosen by Greg Mosse
- Kate Tindle chosen by Annabel Kantaria
- Huda Al Rawajfa chosen by Shahad Al Rawi
- Mona Al Ali chosen by Taleb Al Refai
- Sara Al Abdullah chosen by Najwa Bin Shatwan
The Festival Director further added that, ‘It means that some very accomplished writers were not selected, although they are of a publishable standard, and we are intending to put some classes in place to help this group too. For those who have been chosen for the Fellowship, this really is a golden opportunity, a dream come true and we are grateful to Seddiqi for partnering with us in helping us create this unrivalled initiative to enhance the writing scene in the UAE.’
The mentorship program will be further enhanced by numerous workshops, meetups and talks from experts spanning the whole of the industry and encompassing all stages of writing, publishing and promoting a book.
The program will also provide introductions to international agents, editors and publishers and access to short writing classes from international partner writing institutions, such as Gotham Writers Workshop and the Faber Academy.
Ms. Seddiqi elaborated that, ‘The extraordinary talent witnessed via the entries submitted; is a testament to the potential that exists in our region, and we look forward to inspiring other aspiring writers in the future. Seddiqi Holding remains committed to pioneering initiatives that preserve and develop the cultural industry and we look forward to working closely with Emirates Literature Foundation to further strengthen the program.’
Seddiqi Holding has agreed to partner with the Emirates Literature Foundation for five years, with the aim that the Fellowship will create a notable pool of authors based in the UAE, with audiences all over the world.